URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Jack-o’-lanterns and other decorative gourds were brought to the Urbana Landscape Recycling Center on Saturday afternoon to properly dispose of them in a fun way.
The Second Annual Pumpkin Smash encouraged families across the area to avoid throwing their pumpkins in the garbage. Old or rotting pumpkins were brought to the event, and families could crush them against a wall.
Grace Wilken, Champaign County Environmental Stewards Board Member, said that making sure pumpkins are thrown away correctly is key for a healthy environment.
“We’re trying to make sure that all of these old pumpkins get put into compost and go back into making new soil rather than going into the landfill and creating harmful emissions,” Wilken said. “They create methane, breaking down in the landfill. And so compost is a great way to take organic matter and recycle those nutrients, instead of having them turn into greenhouse gases.”
All composted pumpkins are ground up and turned into soil. Last year’s Pumpkin Smash collected 1,500 pounds of pumpkin waste. Officials are hoping for similar numbers this year.